The Aegidienkirche is one of the best places in Hannover to take future brides and grooms for beautiful couples portraits. Though we are primarily DC wedding photographers, we love taking pictures at that location in Northern Germany! The wedding and engagement photography venue is one of the oldest churches in the city. As such, it has a rich and interesting history. More importantly for couples portraits, however, the Aegidienkirche’s unique layout allows us to flex our creative muscles. We can explore new compositions that bring out the most beautiful sides of our wedding and engagement clients. We can take their pictures from creative and unusual angles, and give them something they cannot get elsewhere.
The reason the Aegidienkirche’s construction allows this creativity is it was partially destroyed during Allied bombing raids during World War II. It has never been fully repaired since sustaining that damage. So the church presently has neither a roof nor windowpanes in the space that used to be its nave. This means fewer obstructions for a Washington, DC, wedding photographer and angles that would be impossible in a fully-closed building. For example, we can photograph couples from above using our Mavic DJI Prone drone without hitting the ceiling. Alternatively, we can capture our brides and grooms on film through the spaces once occupied by ornate stained glass.
The space under the Aegidienkirche’s bell tower survived the bombings and makes a great spot for more intimate couples portraits. A Washington, DC, wedding photographer can also place wedding and engagement clients between that area and the aforementioned open space. During the day, the photographer can utilize the dramatic difference between the darkness of the interior and the brightness of the uncovered portion. That contrast creates epic silhouettes of the future spouses as they embrace. At night, the lighting scenario actually reverses. The part of the church that is beneath the tower is illuminated by a pair of lightbulbs. The former nave, by contrast, gets only a little bit of residual illumination from the streetlights in the neighborhood.
Taking silhouetted pictures of fiancés in the Aegidienkirche after dark is a little more complicated than in daylight. First, we have to stand on the other side of them. There is not enough light in the nave to silhouette a couple at night. Second, we have to add artificial lighting. The lightbulbs in the chamber under the bell tower are also not powerful enough to crisply define the edges of two people posing there. That is why we set up a flash on a stand behind these fiancés before taking their picture. This lit up the alcove and made their silhouettes much sharper.
We added one additional creative flourish that made this particular photograph really pop. We adjusted our camera settings to make the light from the flash a dazzling starburst. We reduced our camera’s aperture to the size of a pinhole. That turned the light from a shapeless blob to beautiful rays streaming out from behind the future bride and groom.
DC wedding photographers particularly like the latter effect because it creates additional depth and dimension in the final image. This helps address one of the biggest challenges in Washington wedding and engagement photography. Giving images that exist on a two-dimensional plane the same three-dimensional feel of real life is hard. There are a variety of different techniques that a Washington, DC, wedding photographer can use to correct this. This is one of our favorites. Situating the light source behind the couple gives the photo that needed third dimension. Beyond that, though, the rays stretching out in front of the couple add a beautiful light effect to the image.